Healthy Snack Ideas

After Testing a Mountain of Vegan Chocolates, Our Editors Can Definitively Say That These Are the 10 Best-Tasting Brands

Photo: Stocksy/Susan Brooks-Dammann
Vegan chocolate, like other vegan products, is completely free from animal products. While cocoa is naturally plant-based (it's derived from cocoa beans from the cacao tree), its vegan roots are not often maintained throughout the bean-to-bar process; many chocolatiers incorporate animal products, particularly milk and/or milk powder, for both flavor and mouthfeel.

But dairy is by no means necessary for creating a truly delicious chocolate bar. In fact, you may be surprised to find that some of your favorite brands of chocolate are already vegan. Seriously: Many dark chocolates that have a cacao content of 70 percent or greater are, by default, vegan-friendly. So before you even ask, know that vegan chocolate is one hundred percent worthy of keeping in your cabinet, on your nightstand, and just about everywhere else in your house at all times. When you get your hands on the good stuff, we guarantee you won't miss (or for that matter, notice) the lack of dairy in your bar, truffle, or peanut butter cup.

That being said, not all vegan chocolates are created equal. That's why we bought up pretty much every brand and bar on the market and tasted them (tough job, but someone had to do it) to find the best vegan chocolate products money can buy. Read to dig in?

The 10 best vegan chocolate brands (in no particular order)

Hu Dark Chocolate Bars (4 pack) — $23.00

Hu has an entire selection of vegan goods, snacks, and treats, but the vegan dark chocolate is a perennial crowd pleaser. Not only are these rich chocolates dairy-free, but they’re also gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and soy lecithin-free (which is often found in other vegan bars). Be sure to check out the hazelnut butter variety, which tastes so rich and creamy.

UnReal Dark Chocolate Covered Peanut Gems (3 pack) — $23.00

Childhood nostalgia meets grown-up sensibilities with UnReal’s organic, dairy-free, and gluten-free chocolate treats. The dark chocolate peanut gems are a particular favorite, and made with non-GMO project verified ingredients. While they still have that telltale colorful candy coating, the hues come from vegetable extracts rather than artificial chemicals.

Tony’s Chocoloney (3 pack) — $20.00

Another delicious lineup of Fair Trade chocolate bars come from Tony’s Chocoloney. All dark chocolate varieties from the brand (except for the dark milk pretzel toffee flavor) are vegan, but we’re particularly partial to the dark pecan coconut—the perfect balance of rich, creamy, and coconutty. Plus, Tony’s is a strong proponent of ethical sourcing, and is on a mission to achieve 100 percent slave-free chocolate across the world.

Green & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate Bar (10 pack) — $32.00

Ethically-sourced chocolate is the heart and soul of Green & Black’s, and it just so happens that most of the brand’s dark chocolates are vegan. The organic hazelnut and currant dark chocolate bar is especially swoonworthy, as is the mint chocolate bar infused with peppermint oil. Green & Black does produce its dark chocolates on the same machinery that handles dairy, so again, if you have an allergy, proceed with caution.

Tcho Dark Chocolate Banana Nut Bar — $11.00

Tcho chocolate is chocolate for folks who really, really know chocolate. Both Fair Trade and USDA Organic certified, the brand is moving toward an entirely vegan lineup by 2023. But for now, Tcho is offering a wide range of vegan delights, including a fruity banana nut square that is packed with this familiar and delicious flavor combination.

Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (12 pack) — $24.00

If you’re looking for a vegan take on the classic peanut butter cup, look no further than Justin’s. There’s a whole lot of peanut butter surrounded by a luxurious coating of dark chocolate, and better still, it’s vegan. Keep in mind that the milk chocolate variety is not animal product-free.

Alter Eco Quinoa Crunch Bars — $4.00

We love the entire lineup of organic, non-GMO, and Fair Trade-certified chocolates from Alter Eco, but the dark quinoa bar is a particular standout. Not only is it vegan, but it brings a necessary crunch element to your traditional vegan chocolate bar with the addition of puffed quinoa.

Vosges Vegan Truffle Collection — $13.00

If you’re looking for a vegan milk chocolate, look no further than Vosges, which is now offering an entire vegan collection. From vegan truffles to vegan chocolate bars, Vosges uses cacao, coconut oil, and sea salt as the base of many of their vegan offerings. We love the green tea matcha variety in particular, and would also encourage you to check out the gluten-free chocolate lineup as well as their incredibly creamy truffle collection.

Lily's Extremely Dark Chocolate Bars (4 pack) — $23.00

Lily’s makes a wide range of baking and snacking chocolates, and the dark chocolate bars are sweetened with Stevia and without any dairy. Plus, a portion of all profits benefit children with cancer, an homage to the namesake of the brand who battled brain cancer. While Lily’s Extra Dark Chocolate Bars (70% Extra Dark Chocolate Bars, 85% Extremely Dark Chocolate Bar, 92% Intensely Dark Chocolate Bar), Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, 55% Dark Chocolate Baking Chips, 55% Dark Chocolate Keto Baking Chips, and 58% Dark Chocolate Baking Bars do not contain animal products, they are produced on equipment that also processes dairy-containing chocolates, which means that if you’re avoiding dairy because of an allergy, you’ll want to proceed with caution.

Ritter Sport Dark Almond Quinoa (3 pack) — $25.00

It’s hard not to love the eminently snackable little squares from the German chocolatier, and even more so given their vegan lineup. Sure, there’s a whole section on their website now dedicated to vegan products, but keep in mind that the dark chocolate and marzipan options are also naturally dairy-free.

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